Hands-On Review: HP Instant Ink Program
We signed up for the $4.99/mo. Instant Ink program and the kit showed up on our doorstep within a few days. Note that it also includes a pre-paid shipping envelope that is used for recycling the ink cartridges. Now we should never again have to shop for ink, never again have to stockpile empty cartridges for recycling, never again have to trudge off to a cartridge recycling center, nor be concerned about how much ink we’re using.
We have just run out of the ship-with black ink and the program will officially begin once we install the black Instant Ink cartridge.
Update: We installed the black Instant Ink cartridge and noticed that it is longer than that of the ship-with and retail cartridges. While we have seen numerous occasions where ink carriers are designed to hold wider XL or hi-capacity black cartridges, this is the first time we have noted an ink carrier that is designed to hold cartridges of different lengths. Apparently we have tested a handful of HP printers with this carrier design in the past but since this is our first experience with Instant Ink cartridges it has escaped our notice until now. This partially explains why only select HP printers (some are precluded for economic reasons) are Instant Ink capable.
Once we installed the black Instant Ink cartridge, a message popped up on the touch screen congratulating us for participating in the Instant Ink program. Then, within minutes we received an e-mail from HP stating that the Instant Ink Program had officially begun and that we were going to be billed our monthly fee of $4.99 in the next few days. The only unknown left is how efficient the detection and shipping procedures are once we get to the point when we need more Instant Ink. Once we get there, we promise to let you know how it all turned out.
In summary, be sure to keep this astonishing point in mind: If we bought the HP 62XL ink cartridges for the HP Envy 5660 from a retail outlet, they would cost $34.99/$39.99 and yield 600/415 black/color pages. That results in a cost of 5.8¢ per black page and 15.5¢ per color page based on an area coverage of just 5 percent per color, which is approximate to a single-spaced letter printed on Letter/A4-size media. Best of all, we have only invested $4.99 thus far for cartridges that hold more ink than retail XL cartridges.
That said, with the HP Instant Ink Program, print sizes with unlimited color do not matter!
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